SkyTeam carrier Kenya Airways has received a KSh5 billion ($49 million) loan from the government to cover an engine overhaul programme for its fleet of Embraer E190 regional jets.

”The cash injection will cater for overhaul of 11 Embraer engines, which is required every eight years in order to uphold the highest levels of safety and maintain reliability and planned network schedules,” the airline says, in disclosing the loan from Kenya’s National Treasury.

Kenya Airways Embraer 190shutterstock_1618404946

Source: Shutterstock

Cirium fleets data shows the Kenyan carrier has 15 E190s in service.

Kenya Airways chairman Michael Joseph says: ”I would like to thank the government of Kenya for making these funds available to us. The Embraer fleet is our largest and is the network workhorse. We also plan on undertaking refurbishments on our two Boeing 737-700 aircraft.”

The Nairobi-based operator has been in ongoing restructuring after several years of losses and last summer Kenya’s parliament voted in favour of nationalising the airline as part of plans to safeguard its aviation sector.

At the end of last year Kenya Airways warned earnings for 2019 would be at least 25% less than in 2018, citing increased pricing pressures.

New Kenya Airways chief executive Allan Kilavuka – whose appointment at the helm of the carrier was made permanent in late February – says: ”As a strategic national asset and key driver of Kenya’s economic development and GDP growth, it is important that the airline continues to operate optimally.

”It is on this premise that this year, we identified six key areas of focus, which are: improving our customer’s experience, reducing costs and wastage, strengthening operational efficiency, stabilising the organisation, growing our profitability, and managing relationships with our stakeholders.”